Don’t Become a Victim of Sudden Cardiac Death!

The leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2016 was heart disease, approximately 635,260 cases. (1) 300,000 to 400,000 deaths were sudden cardiac deaths secondary to cardiac arrhythmias or lack of blood flow to the heart. (2)

Cholesterol is not the problem! Look at the following data: 

* Cholesterol is a minor player in heart disease.
* Cholesterol levels are poor predictor of heart disease.
* Half the people with heart disease have normal cholesterol.
* Half the people with elevated cholesterol have healthy hearts.
* Lowering the cholesterol has extremely limited benefits. (3)

The problem is the growing plaque in your arteries! Do you know how much plaque is growing in your arteries? It is easy to determine without doing invasive cardiac catheterization and it only takes about 15 minutes for an ultrasound to take numerous pictures of your carotid artery. The carotid artery is the main artery to the head and neck. Look at the diagram below:

The carotid artery can easily be assessed by ultrasound. The thickness of the plaque within the artery can be measured with little effort by ultrasound. Studies reveal that plaque in the carotid arteries grows at the same rate as plaque in the arteries leading to your heart (coronary) and your legs (femoral). The size of the plaque can be measured very accurately. If plaque is identified, the proper therapy can be instituted to decrease or prevent further plaque formation. If a portion of plaque breaks loose it may cause a stroke; additionally, if the plaque is large enough, it may cause a stroke or a heart attack.

The test to measure the plaque is called the Carotid IMT (Intimal Media Thickness) Test (CIMT)and has been available for years, but very few physicians order this test for their patients! A study in 2010 found that every 0.1 mm increase in the CIMT was associated with a 10–15% increase in the risk of myocardial infarction, and in the same line, a 13–18 % increase in stroke events. (4) Another study, in 2011, confirmed that carotid plaque was a significant independent predictor of cardiovascular events. (5) A study this year revealed carotid disease, measured as carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and carotid plaque (CP), is associated with major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) in people without the previous atherosclerotic disease! (6)

Wouldn’t you want to know that information so you take corrective action?

The Life Screening Ultrasound of your carotids measures blood flow, not plaque levels. It is not the same test! Look at the diagram below.

Blood flow could be normal! Unless a CIMT test is performed, the plaque would not be detected and you may be at risk for a heart attack or stroke!

How many studies do healthcare providers have to have before they start utilizing this non-invasive, radiation free test to save lives?
Cardiovascular disease kills 2,150 Americans a day, one every 40 seconds! (7) Six of every ten Americans who have suffered a heart attack never knew they had cardiovascular disease. You don’t want to be included in this statistic!
Don’t become a victim of sudden cardiac death or a stroke before you take action and determine the plaque level in your carotid arteries.
Call my office today at 352-629-7955 and schedule your CITM test to determine your plaque level.

Douglas C, Hall, M.D.

References: 

(1) https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm
(2) Curr Probl Cardiol. 2015 Apr;40(4):133-200
(3) The Great Cholesterol Myth by Jonny Bowden, PH.D., C.N.S & Stephen Sinatra M.D., F.A.C.C.
(4) European Heart Journal. 2010;31:1682–1689
(5) N Engl J Med. 2011;365:213–221
(6) Arch Cardiol Mex. 2019;89(1):5-11
(7) American Heart Association disease and stroke statistics-2015

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